Monday 23 April 2018

New peace deal signed despite reservations: what could be the implications?

South Sudan's president signed a peace deal on Wednesday to end a 20-month conflict with rebels, but he told regional African leaders at the ceremony that he still had "serious reservations".

President Salva Kiir, who has led South Sudan since it seceded from Sudan in 2011, last week asked for more time for consultations, drawing threats of U.N. sanctions if he failed to ink it within a two-week deadline.

"With all those reservations that we have, we will sign this document," he told African leaders gathered in Juba for the ceremony, speaking shortly before he signed.

Rebel leader Riek Machar, Kiir's long-time rival who is expected to become the country's First Vice President under the deal, signed the document last week in the Ethiopian capital.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed the signing of the peace deal, but his spokesman noted in a statement that it must be implemented.

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